Heritage

Looking Back at Royal Births Throughout History

Prince Philip was playing squash when Prince Charles was born, for starters.
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As we welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child, we look back on royal births of the past.

Queen Elizabeth II


Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900-2002) holds her baby, the future Queen Elizabeth II, in May 1926.

The future queen was born at 2:40 a.m. on April 21, 1926, at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, the London home of her maternal grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

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More: 30+ Fascinating Facts About Queen Elizabeth II's Life

Prince Charles


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (pictured when she was Princess Elizabeth) poses with her first baby Prince Charles at his Christening in 1948.

The Prince of Wales was born at Buckingham Palace on the evening of November 14, 1948. Princess Elizabeth was just 22 at the time, and she was reportedly in labor for 30 hours before giving birth by Caesarean section. But her husband, Prince Philip, was not present. Instead, he was playing squash with his private secretary in another part of the royal residence. When he got word of the birth, Philip ran up to the delivery room and, once the princess woke up from her anesthetic, gave her a bouquet of red roses and carnations. He also declared that Charles resembled "a plum pudding." (Charles's birth was the first royal birth not attended by the British Home Secretary, who in earlier times was required to be present to witness and verify the births of royal children.)

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Princess Anne


Prince Philip and Princess Anne hold Prince Andrew's hands as he sits up in his pram on September 7, 1960.

Princess Anne was born at 11:50 a.m. on August 15, 1950, at Clarence House, a royal residence in London. Buckingham Palace was undergoing renovations following damage it suffered during World War II, so Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip moved to Clarence House in 1949 and lived there until 1953.

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More: Princess Anne's Life in Photos

Prince Andrew


Prince Philip and Princess Anne hold Prince Andrew's hands as he sits up in his pram on September 7, 1960.

Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to her third child, Prince Andrew, at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 1960.

Prince Edward


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Queen Elizabeth, holding an infant Prince Edward, stands with Prince Philip, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Trooping of the Colour on June 13, 1964.

The queen's third son and fourth child was born on March 10, 1964, at Buckingham Palace. This time, Prince Philip reportedly joined her in the delivery room. "The Duke of Edinburgh was actually holding his wife's hand as their youngest was born, Ingrid Seward writes in My Husband and I: The Inside Story Of 70 Years Of Royal Marriage. "The Queen, by then aged 37, had asked him to be there; she'd been keenly reading women's magazines that stressed the importance of involving fathers in childbirth and had become fascinated by the idea. Thus Philip became the first royal father in modern history to witness the arrival of one of his children ... Compassion comes from the Queen. And the duty and discipline comes from him Philip."

Prince William


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The Prince and Princess of Wales stand with their newborn son Prince William on the steps of St Mary's Hospital in June 1982.

Diana, Princess of Wales, gave birth to Prince William in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital on June 21, 1982—a break from the tradition of royal births at Buckingham Palace. "William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer," Diana told her biographer, Andrew Morton. She reportedly stood during the birth.

Prince Charles was there to witness his first son's birth and later wrote to his godmother Patricia Brabourne, "I am so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time because by the end of the day I really felt as though I’d shared deeply the process of birth and as a result was rewarded by seeing a small creature which belonged to us even though he seemed to belong to everyone else as well!" It was a more sensitive reaction than the "joke" he made immediately after William's birth, when, according to an account Diana gave to Morton, he uttered, "Oh God, it's a boy. And he's even got red hair."

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The queen was the first royal relative to visit Prince William in the hospital; Prince Philip was traveling at the time so she went alone.

Prince Harry


Princess Diana and Prince Charles leave the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital with Prince Harry in September 1984.

Prince Harry arrived a week early and was born at 4:20 p.m. on September 15, 1984 in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, just like his older brother. Diana read a book for the first six hours of her nine-hour labor, and Charles napped in a chair next to the bed. When the big moment came Diana "sucked on an ice cube to prevent dehydration during the delivery, while a nurse rubbed her chapped lips with cream," People reports.

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Prince George


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand with their newborn son, Prince George of Cambridge, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital on July 23, 2013.

For her first child, the Duchess of Cambridge had a team of 20 medical professionals dedicated to her care("Everyone was sworn to secrecy," People reports). The group included: two obstetricians, three midwives, three anesthetists, four surgical staff, two special care baby-unit staff, four pediatricians, one lab technician, and three to four managers. After about 12 hours of labor and no pain medication, Prince George was born at 4:24 p.m. on July 22, 2013, weighing in at eight pounds, six ounces.

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Two of the first people to see the duchess after she gave birth were her hairdresser, Amanda Cook-Tucker, and her personal assistant and stylist, Natasha Archer. The duchess wore a Jenny Packham blue-and-white polka dot dress after the birth in a nod to a similar dress Diana wore when she left the same hospital with Prince William more than 30 years earlier.

Princess Charlotte


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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave St. Mary's Hospital with the newborn Princess Charlotte on May 2, 2015.

"Everything went extremely well" during the birth of Princess Charlotte at 8:34 a.m. on May 2, 2015, according to People. The duchess gave birth two-and-a-half hours and without an epidural after being admitted to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, and she and her husband "celebrated the birth by toasting champagne." The palace broke with tradition again by announcing the news of the birth in a tweet: "Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8.34 a.m. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."

More: Princess Charlotte's Cutest Moments

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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